Eva Pasco's Blog - Posts Tagged "eva-pasco"

Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin'
Into the future
Time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin'
Into the future
I want to fly like an eagle
To the sea
Fly like an eagle
Let my spirit carry me
I want to fly like an eagle
'Till I'm free

*(Lyrics from “Fly Like an Eagle,” a song written by Steve Miller in 1976 for the album of the same name)

And, time kept on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future before I finished my second novel and submitted the manuscript, 'An Enlightening Quiche,' for publication on March 31, 2016--8 years since the debut of my first one, 'Underlying Notes.'

While my spirits soared, the emotional aspect of the send-off is far more complex and heart-wrenching. At precisely 6:00 PM when I hit the send button to submit all pertinent files to the publisher, I truly did compare the action to that of flying the document like an eagle. Free of further revisions and embellishments, a literary endeavor was airborne by the spirituality behind its 118, 300 words.

Then, the downside of parting with an integral part of my life. It was not easy closing the file on endearing, flawed characters developed into three-dimensional, flesh-and-blood personae hailing from a French-Canadian mill community in northern Rhode Island’s Blackstone Valley.

My fervent wish is for avid readers to avail themselves of 'An Enlightening Quiche' when it is available for acquisition in eBook and print. It entails a soulful journey where the line of demarcation between fiction and non-fiction blurs:

Tried-and-true friendships tested. Self-sacrifice. Havoc. Quest for Mr. Right. Impoverished mill. Unleashed secrets. Enriched by geographic entities, historic references, and regional culture.

*It will be my pleasure to set up a pre-publication giveaway when I have a better idea of the book launch date.

Doo, doo, doo, doo, doo …
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Published on April 15, 2016 13:20 • 33 views • Tags: author, blog, eva-pasco, prepublication
Look over yonder
What do you see?
The sun is a ‘rising
Most definitely

So don't you give up now
So easy to find
Just look to your soul
And open your mind

*(Lyrics from “Crystal Blue Persuasion," a 1968 song originally recorded by Tommy James and the Shondells)

Earlier in the week when I opened the bottom doors of my hutch with the intention to wash each piece of fine stemware, it occurred to me these lords and ladies had overstayed their welcome. Serving no purpose throughout a span of 30 years, it became crystal clear these aristocratic vessels had to go!

Before kicking them curbside, I tried to find a good home by contacting relatives. When the glass window of opportunity for positive feedback expired, I placed every carefully wrapped item into two large shopping bags for a random act of charity by leaving them in the entryway of my building.

No takers! Subsequently, the lords and ladies of the manor were destined for the dumpster. In transit, perhaps inanimate vengeance predisposed one of the wine goblets to tumble out of the bag and shatter when it hit the slate floor. Reduced to a scullery maid, I crouched on all fours to sweep up the fragments.

Switching gears to author mode, pre-publication of my second novel in the genre of Women’s Fiction, 'An Enlightening Quiche,' it has become crystal clear to me that one cannot be too prepared in advance of your book’s release date.

Though, I’ve already developed templates for press releases, compiled a list of potential reviewers, and plan to develop a brochure pertaining to the book, I’ve miles to go in my journey to market and promote the novel.

For further inspiration, I’ll “just look to my soul and open my mind to see the light” of crystal blue persuasion.

Mmm, mmm oooh ooh yeah!
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Published on April 16, 2016 04:00 • 50 views • Tags: author, blog, eva-pasco, prepublication
Michael Corleone: Just when I thought I was out ... they pull me back in.

For approximately 8 years or more after the publication of my debut novel, 'Underlying Notes,' I’d say half of those years were spent “working the room” to make myself visible to potential readers. I procured guest spots on local TV programs and branched out by writing ezine articles pertaining to my native state of Rhode Island for a book link here and there. A Sixties Chick, I wrote 100 Memoirs and numerous Retro 60s Flashbacks contributed to ‘The 60s Official Site’ where the webmaster graciously allowed me to hang.

Here a link, there a link, everywhere a link link, but nary a drink!

Other literary detours combined with life’s hairpin turns stopped me in my tracks, prompting me to dissolve social media accounts at Facebook, Scribd and Twitter. I also derailed from writing and bailed halfway through my second novel.

Just when I thought I was out … writer’s guilt pulled me back in! And, long story, not short, I finished writing ‘An Enlightening Quiche’ (422 manuscript pages), and submitted it for publication. Now, I’m entering the high-stakes gambling venture—literally and financially betting against the astronomical odds of selling “one” book when the print and electronic versions of the novel are distributed. And, believe me, I appreciate every single reader—some of whom became my dear friends through an author-reader connection.

For starters, I launched my first Goodreads giveaway (April 22 – May 22), offering readers the chance to win 1 out of 7 of the last final copies for the First Edition of 'Underlying Notes.' I’m inclined to launch future book giveaways as a means of generating a buzz.

In the meantime, I’m exploring the worldwide web and treading the earth, hedging my bets on a longshot each and every time, hoping my horse of a different color takes the lead in one of these author arenas: book launch, social networking, book clubs, blog guest spot, blog tours, media appearances, book signings, book store consignments.

Reading between the lines, the only free things in life are those we give away.
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Published on April 22, 2016 10:55 • 41 views • Tags: author, blog, eva-pasco, giveaway, prepublication
Underlying NotesI'm gonna soak up the sun
I'm gonna tell everyone
To lighten up …

(Lyrics from “Soak up the Sun,” a song recorded by Cheryl Crow in March 2002)

From the perspective of an indie/self-published author who takes her writing very seriously, I had spent “literally” days pouring through the 36-chapter manuscript of my soon-to-be published second novel, 'An Enlightening Quiche,' submitted on March 31st, and currently in production.

While I take my work seriously, I know better than to take my career as an author too seriously because I’m an unknown entity whose star, in all probability, will never rise to meteoric acclaim—though I’d like it to! To think otherwise, I’d run the risk of sacrificing my integrity by thinking I could buy my way over the rainbow by throwing away my money.

How?

Seriously, if I heeded the advice touted in tips for author marketing strategies, I’d be selling myself short. Such as this one cited in the January 12th mailing from BookWorks, “Book Reviews for Indie Authors - Part 3: Paid Reviews”:

… You should consider paying for legitimate reviews as part of your book launch strategy. (Plan ahead because reviewers need 6 to 9 weeks to read and write your blurbs, though some services provide expedited reviews for an additional fee.)

Kirkus Reviews charges $425 for a review that you can expect to receive in 7 to 9 weeks, or $575 for their express service that takes 4 to 6 weeks.

Foreword’s Clarion Reviews charges $499 for a 450-word review, which you will receive in 4 to 6 weeks.

Seriously? There’s a limit to what I will legitimately pay for any aspect of marketing and promoting.


Here’s an excerpt from Chapter 5, 'An Enlightening Quiche,' where Augusta Bergeron, small town vamp and reigning champ, rebukes historian Lindsay Metcalfe for appearing too uppity for her mill debut:

“I can’t believe you’re planning on greeting the workers in jeans and a Harvard hoodie!” I admonished, faking incredulity as she latched the gate behind her.

My lobbed grenade achieved its desired effect in shaking her confidence. “U-h-h, I just want to look down to earth so folks will warm up to me.”

“Wrong! They’ll see through your ploy and figure you for one condescending mother effer, as in give me an f for foreigner, shoving hoity-toity H-a-a-h-vahd up their craw! Think about it.”

Seriously?
Lighten up!
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Published on April 24, 2016 05:37 • 102 views • Tags: author, blog, eva-pasco, prepublication
And always, yes always
We got to live for the...
Sun sun sun sun
Sun sun sun sun
Go!
Sun sun sun sun
Sun sun sun sun

*(Lyrics from “I Live for the Sun," a 1965 single written by Rick Henn and performed by American pop band The Sunrays)

Without elbowing ribs or wrestling to the ground anyone or everyone else vying for their place in the sun, I am civilly jockeying for my prominent position among read-worthy authors in the vast universe of Amazon.

While I pivot from Authors Den through posting everything I’ve ever written or will ever write, I’ve recently become more active at Goodreads by embracing the authors program and joining groups pertinent to my noble cause of connecting with kindred authors and avid readers.

I recently perused the Goodreads list of new May releases which became available this week. Staggering in amount, from a reader’s viewpoint, I’m thinking, “So many potentially good reads; so little time.”

From an author’s perspective, I envision my upcoming novel currently in production, 'An Enlightening Quiche,' making its runway debut in the genre of Fiction on a future monthly release list.

While an eccentric stage persona, self-deprecating humor, wild hair and clothes, and an exaggerated cackling laugh served comedienne Phyllis Diller well, I will vie for my place in the sun by utilizing my feminine wiles—er uh, those pertaining to Women’s Fiction: an enticing title, attractive book cover, attention-getting blurb, and engaging chapter excerpt.

Come hither. Ha, ha, ha, a ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha

*Giveaway: 7 signed copies - First Edition of 'Underlying Notes' (Apr. 22 - May 22)

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/sh...
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Published on April 30, 2016 03:28 • 37 views • Tags: author, blog, eva-pasco, prepublication
An excerpt from Chapter 5, 'Underlying Notes,' my debut novel. One of Carla's backstories about a troubled past she must come to grips with as she undergoes a midlife renaissance:

Ma’s salvation and empowerment came from a few close-knit neighbors on our suburban street of small ranch houses. The women routinely waited with their children each morning at the end of driveways for the school bus. You could hear the screeching brakes long before the bus rolled to its stop for me to board. These women waved and shouted their plans to gather at someone's house for coffee after finishing the housework.

From my Boomer point of view, the sitcom best exemplifying the culture in our home was 'The Honeymooners.' 'Father Knows Best' was too saccharine sweet for my reality. The lovey-dovey exchanges between June and Ward Cleaver on 'Leave it to Beaver' seemed too phony. Though my father didn’t have Ralph Kramden’s girth, he sure threw his weight around. He didn’t wear a bus driver’s uniform, but he did slip inside a white barber jacket which hugged his trim physique. He rubbed Vitalis through his thick black curls every morning to tame them in place. His pencil thin mustache was perfectly sculpted.

My father upheld the notion that a woman’s place was in the home. Her sole purpose was to raise and care for the children while managing a tidy household. He expected supper on the table when he arrived home from a hard day at work. My father could have mouthed Ralph Kramden’s proclamation, “I am the king of the castle!” He assumed my mother would remain content with her role as housewife and hadn’t foreseen her existence beyond the boundaries of the home.

Our house was well furnished though it resembled the Kramden’s threadbare apartment in Bensonhurst for its lack of modern conveniences. For one thing, we didn’t have a telephone. This proved embarrassing when an emergency number was needed at school. Ma wrote down Daddy’s number for the barbershop he co-owned with a partner—Angelo’s and Arthur’s Barbershop. My father’s name came first. She also listed Aunt M’s as an alternate. Friends who might have wanted to call me after school whispered their disbelief that we didn’t have a phone. Alice would pat my back in empathy reminding me best friends visited each other anyway.

It was a wonder Ma had any time for socializing with the neighbors. I can remember her washing clothes on a wringer washing machine, manually cranking the handle to glide every garment through a fly wheel whose rollers squeezed out excess water. Laundry was flattened beyond recognition after that checkpoint. Eventually, Daddy bought her a newer model that operated electrically. Presumably its predecessor was no longer manufactured. I’m sure the Magdalene Laundry Asylums in Ireland had automatic washers before my mother did. Daddy’s rationale was that the old fashioned types were easier for him to repair should something go wrong.

A clothes dryer was out of the question. Ma lugged a basket of heavy wet laundry from the basement up the stairs, threw a bag of clothespins on top, and hung each piece on a pulley clothesline that seemed to span the length of a bridge. No easy feat in winter! I can still envision her hands—red, chafed, and raw from the cold. They tingled and throbbed. She’d double over, wincing in agony until they thawed.

But when it was her turn, she welcomed her neighbors to cups of coffee and Betty Crocker cakes. There were no affirmative action groups for women or talk shows to champion their rights. These blue- and white-collar wives sat around kitchen tables and bolstered their self-confidence in each other’s company. They gossiped, dispensed medical advice, collaborated on makeovers, and collectively embarked on their own course of self-improvement with the changing times.

Sylvia, my classmate Jack’s mother, who lived three houses away, convinced my mother to color her grays. She badgered my father until he obliged by dyeing her hair black at the shop. The first chink in his armor had been forged.

This achievement emboldened her to campaign for a telephone. A long battle fraught with silences and volatility met with a counterattack akin to Ralph Kramden’s “To the moon! Bang! Zoom!” She was relentless in her pursuit of Ma Bell’s utility. I remember dancing all over the house after I came home from school when my mother pointed to the newly installed yellow wall phone in our kitchen. Daddy was strict about my monopolizing the apparatus, but the only person I cared to talk to was Alice.

Mercifully, the wringer washer malfunctioned and flooded the basement. Ma put her foot down and wouldn’t sanction any repairs on the dinosaur. She insisted on an automatic washer and dryer from Sears. No words were minced when she informed my father she was the only woman in the neighborhood without them. Hamina. Hamina. My father’s pride in being a good provider suffered a blow, so he knuckled under.

Most of the neighbors could drive and Yvette even had her own convertible. The ability to operate and drive an automobile signified a declaration of independence. Ma’s appetite was whetted with each passing victory, and obtaining a driver’s license became her next crusade. She grew envious of Aunt M every time she backed out of our driveway in her two-toned ’59 Chevy Impala with its bat wing rear fenders and cat’s-eye taillights. After about a year my father became convinced of the practicality. Ma would be able to drive to the grocery store, run errands, and occasionally taxi a hot lunch for him at the barbershop.

After scoring this major coup, she turned her attention to fighting my battles against an ironclad ruler. I proved to be no match for my father’s authority since any verbal disagreement would have been construed as insubordination, warranting punishment. Ma proved herself a seasoned lawyer whose opening and closing arguments focused on themes of teen independence and peer acceptance.

As my long trial dragged on without resolution I remained under house arrest and denied privileges others took for granted. I was not allowed to take the bus to the city with Alice on any given Saturday. Alice was not allowed to accompany me on a family excursion to the White Mountains. I was deemed too young to be dropped off at one of the junior high school dances. Invitations to all-girl pajama parties went unacknowledged. Daddy’s roadblocks may as well have been mountain peaks to scale. My mother grew weary of belaboring every issue and laying it out like a blueprint for my father to inspect and reject. She anguished over the likelihood of my rebellion under such repression.

The turning point came with The Beatles’ debut on 'The Ed Sullivan Show' in February of 1964. I sat in front of the television set mesmerized by “All My Loving,” “Till There Was You,” “She Loves You,” “I Saw Her Standing There,” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” I got swept up in the wave of Beatlemania as did my classmates.

Most of the girls with long hair started ironing theirs straight and wearing long bangs they could barely see through. Daddy used to trim our hair. He styled Ma’s in a long pageboy. Whenever he trimmed Paula’s, her curls would shrink and coil into tight ringlets as though she wore a skullcap. My semi-straight hair was cut to chin length, parted on the side, and secured with a clip. I wanted a Vidal Sassoon haircut with bangs like Ringo, and showed Daddy a picture of an English model in a miniskirt wearing the exact same style. Request denied, as my father did not approve of any hairstyle resembling one worn by Moe Howard of the Three Stooges. Nor did he condone my infatuation with the long-haired Fab Four, though he reluctantly agreed I could use my allowance to purchase their albums.

I missed another opportunity to fit in with my peers, stuck behind the Berlin Wall, envious of those girls on the other side who wore frosted lipstick, nylons, and skirts above their knees. My thin body looked gaunt as my clothes bagged from the weight I lost from hardly eating. I threw tantrums about going to school. I wouldn’t play with Paula, and she would start to cry, unaware of the underlying truth behind my grotesque mask of surliness. I spent most days alone in my room not speaking unless absolutely necessary.

Alice tried to console me by telling me I didn’t have it so bad. She confided how her own life was a living hell since an out-of-work uncle came to live with the family. She scowled, and tears of anger welled in her eyes as she told me he bothered her. Too self-absorbed, wallowing in my own self-pity, I never thought to ask what she meant. She dropped the issue and never brought it up again.

Ma convinced herself her eldest daughter would either run away or have a breakdown as I continued withdrawing into my shell. She was ready to take drastic measures. Although my mother had summoned courage and determination to affect domestic change, I don’t think the neighbors could have foreseen an escape plan in the hand of cards dealt to their friend Celia D’Ambra. Nor was there ever any need for them to find out about that ace tucked up her sleeve.

The three of us never spoke of that foredoomed day when Ma packed our suitcase and locked it inside the trunk of the black Plymouth sedan. She accelerated onto the main road and said we were going to Aunt M’s to stay with her, Uncle Gino, and Barbara for a while. Paula and I sat at opposite ends of the backseat secured by lap belts, standard equipment, in our ’63 Fury. These restraints prevented us from invading each other’s space but couldn’t quell our arguments, which often necessitated that Daddy pull over to the side of the road to discipline two brats and call us “barbarians” for our uncivilized behavior.

Instead of taking us to Aunt M’s, our mother drove us to the barbershop, parked across the street, and instructed us to stay in the car. On Fridays the barbershop closed at eight. Arthur would pick Daddy up and drive him home. Ma had the car on Fridays so we could head to the mall after school or go out for fish and chips. It figured she alone had the daunting task to tell Daddy about our plan. Every time I tunnel through the winding roads of past memories, I am still sitting helplessly in the backseat, too frightened to turn the handle on the car door ...

Underlying Notes
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Published on May 02, 2016 10:06 • 161 views • Tags: author, blog, eva-pasco, novel-excerpt
And they're coming to take me away ha ha
They're coming to take me away ho ho he he ha ha
to the RUBBER ROOM where life is LITERALLY beautiful all the time

(Adaptation of the lyrics to “They’re Coming to Take Me Away,” a 1966 novelty record by Jerry Samuels, recorded under the name Napoleon XIV)

Having deactivated my Facebook account so it lay dormant for several years, against my better judgment, while kicking and screaming, I committed myself to reactivate my page inside a social milieu where Farm Ville reigns supreme.

I do recognize Facebook as a viable means to connect family, friends, and former classmates from across the miles. I applaud this networking site as a valuable resource for solving cold criminal cases and bringing closure to the victims’ loved ones. Nevertheless, I reluctantly returned due to the power of suggestion displayed on my Goodreads author dashboard—FACEBOOK PAGE TAB: Display ratings and reviews for your books right on your Facebook Page.

As one cannot set up an author business account on Facebook without having a personal profile page there, I voluntarily entered the asylum so I could create my own Rubber Room and prime it for dispensing news pertaining to my upcoming novel, 'An Enlightening Quiche.'

Ho ho he he he ha!

Though I’m very grateful for the three “likes” I received in response to the four invitations I sent to those on my list of friends, I am in solitary confinement bouncing off the walls of my Rubber Room where life is literally beautiful all the time. Thus far this week, I have “one” website click—mine! My Rubber Room may as well be located in the remotest part of Block Island during off-season to tourists.

Yet, not even those “nice young white men in their clean white coats” can drag me away from my Rubber Room where I intend to put my handwriting on the walls in chronicling events and endeavors related to my second novel.

If you’re on Facebook, check out my Rubber Room. If you’re so inclined, let me know you stopped there by “liking” my page:

https://www.facebook.com/author.evapa...

Underlying Notes
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Published on May 06, 2016 15:09 • 45 views • Tags: author, blog, eva-pasco, prepublication
Prior to making final revisions in my manuscript for my debut women's fiction novel, 'Underlying Notes,' I had to finish writing it. By May 2007, I'd written twenty chapters and was in a quandary how to end my protagonist's postmenopausal journey in the Second Act of Life. However, at this juncture I knew chapter 21 required Carla Matteo to board an Amtrak bound for New York at Kingston Station. Because it is so imperative for this writer to cross the line of demarcation between fiction and nonfiction seamlessly, I intended to embark on the same course of action as my unsung heroine, Carla Matteo. Armed with a notebook, pens, and my then husband in tow, we boarded the 7:16 A.M. southbound train on the track running along one of the busiest small train depots on the Amtrak system, close to where I lived.

Seated by the window I began taking copious detailed notes as we moved along the coastal route--all of which became incorporated in the novel, by the way--along with several fictitious twists of acerbic lime! At precisely 8:55 the train coasted to a dead stop at New Haven Terminal due to a major power outage affecting Amtrak's Northeast Corridor from Boston to DC. Though passengers could have boarded the Metro to Grand Central, there was no guarantee power would be restored by early evening, or how Amtrak's schedule would be affected. Sorely disappointed our much anticipated trip to walk around the city and have lunch at Sardi's were sabotaged, we decided to wend our way back home to Kingston, RI via Greyhound to Providence and take a taxi from the capital city to Kingston Station where the car was parked--talk about a round trip!

Eureka! While going Greyhound, a bolt of cerebral lightning struck where I decided to incorporate the snafu in Chapter 21. What is more, my mind got on board an ending that seemed so right! There was no turning back--book speak only.

As our taxi approached Kingston Station, we passed the small community church on Kingstown Rd. This time I paid closer attention to the weekly spiritual message sprawled across the sign at the edge of the property: God's purpose today may not be apparent until much later. I thought it so apropos for the revelation I just had to finish my novel. At the time, I had no inclination whether my manuscript would be published, nor had I figured out my approach in seeking publication. That May I also could not have foreseen the myriad turns along my own life's journey, although I'm much further along the track than anticipated.

Here’s an Excerpt from Chapter 21:

Kingston Station, one of the busiest of small train depots on the Amtrak system, was built in 1875. This quaint Victorian-style building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976, an action saving the station from being bulldozed after a devastating fire in 1988. I couldn’t believe how full the lot was at that hour and felt kind of glad Joe wasn’t in the car while I scouted for an elusive parking space. As he was prone to rubbing my nose in the messes I created, I could hear his criticism after he unplugged a cigar from between clenched teeth: “You just had to go on that damn computer this morning, didn’t you?” Though in denial when I pointed it out to him, Joe had morphed into his own father whether wielding Vince’s brand of cynicism or bobbing a cigar.

I must have pulled into one of the last available spaces. The shortage of parking should have been a red flag signaling me about the scarcity of travel accommodations for the last long weekend of summer. Yet, the station itself resembled a greasy diner at the crack of dawn, enticing only a few to come inside for its early bird specials.

A casually attired chap wearing chinos and a button down sweater over a T-shirt slung a messenger bag over his shoulder. He made a less than favorable impression on me for stepping out in dress loafers without socks. No doubt, my prejudice had been nourished by the proverbs inked inside Joe’s self-proclaimed leather bound manual on the behaviors of real men. While the bare-ankled wayfarer purchased tickets from the vending machine by the ticket window, I walked up to the wire cage, presented identification, and picked up my reserved tickets. The aforementioned paced the hardwood by one of the paned windows overlooking the tracks.

A young woman with disheveled hair that was thrown up into a ponytail looked as though she slept the night in her jeans and hooded sweatshirt. She appeared mesmerized by the offerings inside the snack machine. She shuffled back and forth on flip flops before inserting her money and pulling one of the levers. Then she shoved her arms inside the straps of her knapsack to hoist it over her back. She then proceeded to fold a bandana into a kerchief for her head, scuffled to the window overlooking the track, and nibbled her candy bar.

A kindred fifty-something woman with a blond butch haircut androgynously floated inside baggy jeans, oversized sweatshirt, and chunky sneakers. She sat by herself on one of the straight back wooden benches at the back of the station, resting her arms on an upright rolling gear bag. I chose to park myself on the bench facing the ticket window and by default, the public restrooms. A drab woman with a gray-streaked bob, conservatively dressed in a plain twin sweater set over navy slacks, had claimed the opposite end. She seemed preoccupied with composing some sort of list.

Except for the hollow echo of acoustics—rustling and throat clearing—the station was quiet as a church waiting to fill up with parishioners for Mass. My pew creaked the way it did when Ma, Paula, me, and Daddy filed in wearing our Sunday best. It was always in that order because Ma had to keep an eye on Paula who fidgeted and it was my responsibility to nudge Daddy awake if he started to doze.
One time Paula screamed during services when her leotard got caught on the buckle of her black patent leather Mary Jane, pinching her skin.

Childhood memories began to cram my head space like unwelcome parishioners who forced you to slide down the pew and hemmed you in to accommodate their tardiness. I hadn’t planned on church that morning, so I rummaged through my bag for something to ebb the flow of recollections.

The woman on the end zone poured over her list, crossed out, and added to it. Ah, the merits of minutia to center one’s thoughts … I pulled out my cheat sheet with Laine’s phone number and studied the directions to Bon Sillage headquarters. I printed it in size 18 type so I wouldn’t need my reading glasses. In one of my archived e-mails from Laine, she disclosed that 'Bon Sillage' came under the umbrella of 'Focused,' a popular lifestyle magazine for contemporary women aged thirty plus. Its content focused on beauty, health, and fashion. Laine’s chief responsibilities included selling ad space, hiring reviewers, doling out assignments, proofreading, editing, and supervising layout. The spin-off fragrance rag was printed and distributed from Focused corporate headquarters.

Consequently, the third-floor office was a cramped work space shared with a young male assistant named Tap. Tap? I originally thought his tag was a self-promotional off-Broadway stint to achieve recognition in a metropolis teeming with sycophants. I pegged him for another Arthur Andrew Kelm, the blond, tanned, surfer boy who rode the Big Kahuna to become the hottest film idol of the ’50s under the tutelage of Hollywood studio heads marketing him as Tab Hunter. I was way off!

I folded the sheet of paper and tucked it inside the zippered pocket of my shoulder bag. Its temporary distraction had succeeded in stemming the floodtide of memories and residual debris. I bided my time before I followed the seasoned commuters to the track like a mindless lamb.

A suited and sharply creased businessman with scant fibrous hair sparingly rationed and glued over his dome, wheeled a leather case with its telescopic handle up to the ticket window. A petite elderly woman looking travel savvy lagged not far behind, balancing a large shopper tote over her shoulder while tugging a rolling Pullman by its handle. She garnered my admiration for her coordinated twill slacks and long-sleeved striped polo in a spicy tarragon shade. Groomed, frosted toenails protruded from a rugged pair of sandals. She apparently mastered the task of procuring a wallet out of her tote without fumbling or dropping anything from tapered fingers tipped with frosted nails filed into crescents.

The high-speed Acela whooshed by Kingston with the insolence of a tsunami, creating a recoil to shake the station on its foundation. Tranquility restored, the loafered gentleman exited the station first. The knapsacker then dragged herself out the door. I trailed behind, keeping a respectful distance from my predecessors who illuminated the way to the other side of the track. The list maker followed on my heels with pumps resounding on the pavement.

I climbed a plethora of compact steps with the fervor of a pilgrim intent on reaching the summit of a prominent historical landmark. Daddy carried Paula piggyback all the way to the top of Bunker Hill Monument. I swatted at the intrusive flash as though it were a pesky fly and persevered through the connecting skywalk before descending an equal amount of steps to the platform.

The commuters burdened with luggage rode the elevator and had beaten us to our rendezvous—no surprise. There we were, a motley assortment gathered together under an overcast sky in the morning dampness waiting for the 7:16 running on schedule. No one in our little congregation made eye contact or attempted any verbal exchange in the waiting pool outside Kingston Station.

And there she rolled! A series of linked sausages crawled to a dead stop on the southbound track. A conductor lowered the steps onto the platform and we boarded. There were several empty twosomes so I picked one in the middle of the coach and plunked myself down on a window seat. Except for the dapper businessman who settled down a few rows in front of me and had already set up shop with his laptop, I lost sight of the others who vanished through the portal to the adjoining car. The train was on schedule leading me to prophesize that everything would go forward as planned. For sure, it was a day like no other where the only things going forward as preordained were my nasolabial folds.

Underlying Notes
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Published on May 07, 2016 06:41 • 42 views • Tags: author, blog, eva-pasco, novel-excerpt, underlying-notes
Ever since I submitted the manuscript of my second novel for publication, I’ve been moonlighting by preparing for its debut. One of these ventures involves answering questions for prospective author interviews. I find the process of peeling away autobiographical layers of Eva cathartic as though I’m reclining on a couch while in the midst of an expensive psychoanalytical session with the clock ticking before my half hour is up. Pandering to an author’s alter ego, I interpret each question as a nod for me to babble and blab about my humble beginnings as a wordsmith. Mmhmm!

And, so, with little prompting, I’ve revisited my childhood and adolescence pertaining to my “write” of passage through those first forays of extracting pulp fiction from the enchanted forest of my wild imagination.

Previously revealed in my author bio at Authors Den and elsewhere, “under my mother's tutelage, I became a proficient typist by the age of nine and soon pounded chapter stories on my girly-pink Tom Thumb typewriter.”

What I’ve never revealed up until now are the stories I composed at the age of twelve. The very first one sprang to mind because of a malfunction in our doorbell which would ring sporadically by itself until my father dismantled the wiring and corrected the situation. Nevertheless, I drafted a chapter story on my typewriter in the genre of mystery—“The Mystery of the Midnight Doorbell” replete with dialog, secret codes, and a smuggling ring.

Hot to trot along the stubborn keys of a manual typewriter, I struck gold from mining a series of spy thrillers under the auspices of an agency I named I.N.T.R.I.G.U.E. Plucking the names of exotic countries from a map provided settings I knew nothing about. For me, it was all about the action, creating stereotype characters dripping dialogue in broken English, good triumphing over evil, and gadgetry.

Rivaling the espionage devices in ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,’ the popular TV series created in 1964 which my thrillers predate, I employed such ingenious gimmicks as a radio in the guise of screw back earrings, and a mini-camera concealed inside a carnation boutonniere. In hindsight, I wish I had invented the shoe phone before the likes of Maxwell Smart, Agent 86, who worked for CONTROL in ‘Get Smart,’ the comedy, spy-spoof series which first aired on television in 1965.

No surprise, all I wanted for Christmas at the age of twelve was a ream of typing paper to further my “write” of passage. My parents did better than that by placing a brand new, manual, Remington Rand typewriter for grownups under the tree for an aspiring young writer.
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Published on May 09, 2016 11:30 • 26 views • Tags: adolescence, author, blog, eva-pasco, memoir, writing
You know I can't smile without you
I can't smile without you
I can't laugh and I can't sing
I'm finding it hard to do anything

(Lyrics from “I Can’t Smile without You,” a song version sung by Barry Manilow, released in 1978)

The best laid plans of mice, men, and this female writer went awry this week when one of my upper molars reached its breaking point. Laid back on a dental chair, the tooth of the matter became readily apparent when my dentist broke the news that its crack had spread as far as the bone, so he couldn’t save it.

Any hope I had previously harbored for a drill & fill, or even a root canal as a last resort, was purely pulp fiction. Under the influence of Novocain, I endured the extraction of #13. While the gap from a missing tooth is not very discernible, pride in my set of pearly whites behooves me to subdue my toothy grin for the duration it takes for an oral surgeon to screw in an implant, and for my dentist to mold a crown.

Always one to find a silver lining in a cloud, even if it’s not a mercury filling, my sliver of silver is a newfound attitude toward marketing and promoting my upcoming second novel, 'An Enlightening Quiche.' Not so much during the moonlighting stages while it’s in production, but later when I’m hoping for potential readers to acquire it. I don’t plan on sweating the small stuff such as whim in reflecting promising or dismal book sales.

What is most important to me in the grand scheme of things is maintaining good health and sustaining the love of family. Without those two propositions, I couldn’t laugh, sing, and would find it hard to do most anything.

Underlying Notes
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Published on May 13, 2016 13:58 • 44 views • Tags: author, autobiographical, blog, eva-pasco